Cade County 1892

04Feb14

cade county1892Henry Vaughn heaved a deep sigh and turned the letter over in his hand. He reread it for the third time in the hope that it would tell him something different, a futile exercise, he knew. Now he had a big problem on his hands.

The heavy set man sat back in his chair and grabbed the bridge of his nose in frustration. His thick greying eyebrows came together now with a frown adding to his stern countenance. Perhaps if he wrote back for verification, he considered, at least that would give him more time to consider his actions.

The trouble with that idea was that he would be betraying a trust of sorts, not that the board would blame him. He felt sure that any appointment he made would be backed. But something had to be done; there was a principle at stake at the very least.

He had been the Cade County Commission and Chairman of the Board of Education for 15 years now; a respected position enhanced by the fact that the Vaughn’s had been in Cade County since its founding. He had an aunt who was even a Cade, for the Lord’s sake. Added to that he was a war hero and 30 years before he had been stalwart of the Southern cause.

Now there was this little parcel of trouble to sort out and at the heart of it was a damn Yankee, a pretty and likeable Yankee, but an outsider nonetheless. This definitely required some careful consideration.

*

It was long after school and a message had been sent home that Edith Caldwell would be kept behind for some considerable time.

Despite a fiery red hair to match her angry disposition, the girl was pretty. At 18 she was like many of her fellow students and compatriots, a young woman at war with the world. Not to mention heavily over invested in entitlement and a bully to boot.

At least that was the opinion of Eleanor Whitlow, the newly appointed Cade County school ma’am who had caught Edith not only cheating on her math paper, but coercing another student in aiding abetting her. Now the little madam was trying to test her.

The trouble was Eleanor was from Boston, a fact that many of her students were not inclined to let her forget. This made for few friends in town and a student rebellion was not to be tolerated.

“You ain’t gonna whoop me neither,” Edith spat on seeing Eleanor reach for the paddle that hung on the back wall of the one-room school.

“Oh I think that I am,” Eleanor said with a steely voice.

At 22 and less than a year out of the college, Eleanor Whitlow could ill afford to be soft. She was all too conscious that the slight age gap with her older students and her small statue both served to undermine authority. And so too for a reason that she could not fathom did the fact that she was blonde and fairly presentable.

“I’ll, I’ll… tell my Pa,” Edith said nervously as she shifted from foot to foot.

“Oh, your father will hear about this to be sure,” Eleanor told her charge.

Edith pulled a pained expression and opened her mouth to speak.

“Well you don’t have to,” Edith said quickly, now sounding a tad more conciliatory, “I mean, we could just forget the whole thing.”

“I am afraid that I cannot do that,” Eleanor sighed.

Edith clutched at her chest and eyed the paddle with expansive apprehension.

“My Pa will give me a licking,” she wailed.

“No doubt he will,” Eleanor shrugged.

Edith gulped and started to wring her hands.

“I suppose I could smooth over some of the details if you took your punishment bravely,” Eleanor suggested. “But I warn you I mean to take my time in advancing your education.”

Edith swallowed hard and then with a triumph of will gave a curt nod.

“You saw how I paddled Jane Metcalf last week,” Eleanor said sharply, “And don’t deny it; I know you were peeking from the window.”

“I never…” Edith began, but one warning look from the mistress stopped her. So seeing nothing for it she again nodded.

“Then please prepare,” Eleanor directed.

The petite school teacher then watched as a dread-crushed Edith took heavy steps to drag the heavy leather padded chair to the front of the class and push the back of it up against Eleanor’s desk.

Then with one final appeal with her eyes, she hiked up her voluminous skirts and reached under to let down her draws. It was a short hop then to clamber onto the seat to kneel facing backwards and support herself with her elbows on the desk.

“Raise your skirts a little more and then bend right over and grab the far side of the desk,” Eleanor instructed her.

Edith hesitated for a long moment and then with misery itself carved on her face she obeyed. This posture served to present her pale bare bottom upwards and out; a tight peach ripe for the polishing.

“I bet you can’t whop me for as long and hard as Pa does,” Edith said sullenly as she stared defiantly ahead at the blackboard two strands of red hair escaped her bun and fell across her forehead to frame her eyes. Her stubborn pride now exceeded her good sense.

Eleanor shook her head at the challenge, noting the hint of fiery fur peeking between the girls thighs and marvelling at just what a classic redhead this girl was. The girl was goading her, this was too much. Nonetheless, professional detachment was called for.

“Put your legs together girl,” Eleanor scolded.

Edith obliged just as the first swat landed with a heavy crack that startled even Eleanor.

*

The spanking had been underway for some minutes now and Edith was hunkered down with her face low to the desk top so that her poor belaboured behind was well thrust upwards. It was a posture of defiant exhaustion for which her bottom was paying a heavy price. The whole surface of hams and hinds was stained red and had even turned dark and purplish around the crowns and lower curves.

But still the girl had done no more than let out with the odd angry grunt, determined that Eleanor would not get the better of her.

By now both women’s hair was giving way to a tangled mess with strands of hair plastering to their foreheads in perspiration and it was a close call to which of the two was the most out of breath. Eleanor had to even pause for a moment to mop her brow. How could the girl be so stubborn?

She moved to Edith’s side and took in the firm set of her mouth and watery eyes.

“You know this doesn’t end when you decide to give up,” she told the girl.

Edith gave her head one quick shake of denial and Eleanor sighed.

She brought the paddle down in a hard two-handed swat and this time the girl grunted. But it was all that Eleanor could do. Even with a dozen more like it.

The diminutive teacher mopped her own brow and lined up the paddle for another go around.

*

School was out now and the last of the students had straggled down the lane to the town and the farms beyond and he guessed that the teacher would be alone for a talk. So Henry Vaughn had decided to confront Miss Whitlow with what he had discovered.

The light in the old school house announced that Eleanor had indeed not yet left, but for some reason Henry took a glance through the window before stepping inside.

He wasn’t entirely surprised to see a girl bottom up across the desk. The paddle was widely used in Cade County and the fact that the student concerned was none other than the troublesome Edith Caldwell gave him some grim satisfaction. Eleanor’s predecessor had been far too soft and it was good to see that someone had finally taken the Caldwell girl down a peg or two.

Then he remembered the problem in hand and winced. He knew that he had made the right appointment and yet… there had to be some way around it.

His pondering was interrupted by the conversation inside and suppressing a faint sense of unease he put his ear to the window to listen.

“Now Edith,” Eleanor was saying, “I hate bullies and I hate cheats. You are both. There is no excuse for it. Now you are trying to get the better of me and that too I will not have.”

Edith shifted over the desk, her bruised burgundy bottom bucking in slow motion. There were now two blistered welts on the crown and the lower curves; tender spots that would steal the girl’s sitting privileges for days to come, if not a full week. Eleanor, knew this from bitter, bitter experience, a certain knowledge that had not long faded from her mind. A lesson learned that she could put to good effect now. For one thing, she certainly knew how to paddle.

“I told you, this will not be over just because you end your defiance,” she scolded.

Edith groaned and then sniffed heavily. The surrendered tears came slowly, but come they did.

“No ma’am,” she finally wailed.

Eleanor looked relieved.

“You’re a silly girl, aren’t you?” the teacher sighed.

“I don’t mean to be ma’am, really I don’t,” Edith sobbed.

“You cheated, you were defiant and you tried to make others so,” Eleanor said sharply.

“Yes ma’am,” Edith replied miserably.

“So you know you deserve this don’t you?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Alright then,” Eleanor sighed with finality. “Let us finish this then.”

“Ma’am?” Edith wailed in panic.

“A punishment is best served on a repentant bottom,” Eleanor said grimly, “And I warned you about your stubborn defiance.”

“Ooh, yes ma’am,” Edith cried as she sagged in her place.

Henry watched as the paddle landed with an earnest vigour a dozen more times.

“Now girl get your nose in the naughty corner where I put the little kids and you can have a good cry. Then we will finish where we should have started,” Eleanor ordered the girl.

Henry chuckled, not really knowing what poor Edith would suffer next, but he was quite sure she was in capable hands and he left.

*

The half an hour in the corner to cry herself out had been mortifying enough. But now Edith was required to write out on the blackboard: “Defiant girls are spanked; I will not bully and cheat my school fellows.”

Worse still she had to do it with her bloomers down and her skirts pinned into the small of her back. If her father sent her brother to find her… Edith quailed. And what if Thomas came with friends like Danny or even Michael Bingham?

Although her wrist ached she applied herself with the punitive task until the whole board was full up. So anxious was she to complete the humble task. Then with doe-eyed submission she looked longingly at her teacher.

“Wipe it up and start again,” Eleanor told her, “We have a long way to go yet.”

“Ooh, oh… oh yes ma’am,” Edith whimpered and shot an anxious look at the door. She just knew it wasn’t locked.

*

The following evening Eleanor had this time sat down at her desk without incident. The students had all been quiet as church mice without the ringleader stirring things up. And Edith, whose blush had not left her face all day, was as meek and humble as anyone could wish. Although judging by Thomas Caldwell and his friends whispered mutterings, they were fully party to what had happened the night before. No doubt the boys had crept back to peek through the windows to find out what had been keeping Edith so long.

Well it was none of her affair and at least Eleanor could settle down and mark some books. So it was then a surprise to hear the door open and see Henry Vaughn, the commissioner of education come in.

“Mr Vaughn,” she said with an enforced polite smile as she got to her feet.

“Miss Whitlow,” Henry sighed, readying himself for the confrontation to come.

“Is there something wrong?” Eleanor inquired apprehensively.

Henry sucked in air through his nose and let it out with a purpose. Then he strode the length of the schoolroom and deposited the letter he had received from Boston on her desk.

Eleanor eyed it suspiciously and then seeing the heading, her heart caved a little and she felt sick.

Although the missive confirmed her attendance at Boston Ladies College as she had claimed, it informed the Cade County Commissioner that any references he had received from them must have been forged. Furthermore, it read, far from being top of her class, Eleanor Whitlow had barely graduated, and with grades far lower than Henry Vaughn had suggested.

“I-I can explain,” Eleanor squeaked.

“Can you? Can you really Miss Whitlow?” he growled.

“I just, I only…”

“You overegged your pudding somewhat didn’t you?” he pressed her.

Eleanor dipped her head and nodded.

“And the letter of references?” he snapped.

“An old college friend, she… she eh… ‘borrowed’ some headed paper and copied out her own letter of recommendation,” Eleanor admitted.

“I see,” Henry sighed heavily, “Can you see any reason I should not dismiss you at once?”

Eleanor’s heart withered in her chest and the ground all but opened to drag to a deserved hell, which would have been preferable right then.

“No Sir,” she said miserably.

Henry sighed again. He had hoped for some simple explanation or at least a plausible denial.

“The trouble is, and by all accounts, you are the best teacher we have ever had here….” he groaned, “Damn you woman. Your predecessor was, well quite frankly hopeless and in just a few months our students have made great progress,” he explained regretfully. “Why in tar-nation couldn’t you have been honest?”

Eleanor swallowed and then looked down at her shoes.

“’I hate cheats. There is no excuse for it.’” I believe you said, “And you have played the people of this county for fools.”

Eleanor looked up and gaped at him. They had been her exact words to Edith the night before. He must have been listening.

“I ought to send you packing, but your treatment of Edith Caldwell yesterday suggested another possibility to see honour served,” he said in calm dark voice.

Eleanor’s eyes widened and she took an involuntary step backwards.

“Y-you wouldn’t,” she gasped.

“And why not?” he said with a stern rise of his brows.

“B-but…” Eleanor could scarcely get a breath and shot a worried glance at the paddle on the wall.

“I could give you a choice,” he growled, “But quite frankly I don’t want to lose you and you would be a fool to leave without references. So all that remains is you to look me in the eye and tell me you don’t have it coming Miss Whitlow.”

Eleanor gulped and he waited a moment longer before speaking.

“I saw most of how you handled Edith and I heard the rest from some boys who didn’t know I was there,” Henry told her. “Can you think of any reason that you shouldn’t get the same?”

She felt the blood drain from her face and her heart was set to pounding in her chest.

“Mr Vaughn, I-I am a grown woman, y-you cannot mean to… I mean, I’m too old to be spanked,” she spluttered.

“Are you? I think not. You are not much older than Edith and younger than my own daughter whom I would spank soundly if she had behaved half as badly as you,” he said in tones that did indeed remind Eleanor of a disappointed father.

“But you can’t,” she wailed.

“I can and I will,” he snapped, “Although I do not intend to force you. I have great faith in your integrity and repentance.”

Eleanor swallowed hard and regarded the paddle as if it had been suddenly imbued with a just inevitability.

“Please make the preparations Miss Whitlow,” he said a sharp calm clear voice. As he spoke he began to remove his jacket.

Then as she swayed close to a swoon he turned and walked to the door to lock it. The blinds were tattered and scarcely adequate but nonetheless he made a slow tour of the room closing each one at the windows. By the time he turned back Eleanor had removed her outer gown and draws and had bent over the chair at the desk where she had placed it.

Her bottom was womanish and fuller than Edith’s and he meant to make his mark.

“Mr Vaughn,” she croaked, “This is… is most unseemly.”

But her glowering red face was turned down in a kowtow to the wall. So he took the paddle form the wall and studied it closely. It had a sheen to it and he hefted it firmly as returned to stand behind his poorly behaved teacher.

“Ever been paddled before Miss Whitlow?” he asked.

She nodded and in a thick voice rasped, “Yes Sir, in Boston, in much this position.”

“More than once I’ll be bound,” he chuckled. “When was the last time?”

“Not long before I came here,” she admitted, “I… I was held back three semesters you see and then had to… well, I missed a year…”

Her broken story served to distract her.

“This paddle drill was borrowed from your old alma mater wasn’t it?”

Eleanor sucked in a breath and nodded.

The paddle stung her then. A crisp clean band of pain searing her bare bottom cheeks as she lurched forward and emitted a squeak.

Two dark pink pebble-dash patches rose up quickly, one for each curved cheek, and he spanked her again.

“Ah,” she lurched, her pretty face rolling to the ceiling before dipping again.

Then the swats came slow and steady. From outside if anyone were to pass it sounded like a spinning jenny was weaving away inside the school room; a rhythmic and relentless clack-clack over and over slowly marking time every two seconds.

*

Even though he had taken four long rest breaks, both of them were thoroughly out of breath by the time Henry put down the paddle. By then the night had a beard and Eleanor was sobbing gently under a purple-red leathery-welted bottom thrust uppermost from her prone body. She had blisters to rival any she had given Edith and not an ounce of strength for the least resentment. In fact despite her ordeal, or perhaps because of it, she felt better. The burden of her white lies had finally been lifted and she at last felt that she deserved her position in Cade County.

Henry now sensed her acceptance and finally putting the paddle down, he quoted her words at her, “A punishment is best served on a repentant bottom,” so we may return to this later. “Now you may stand and take up the chalk.”

Eleanor shot a horrified look at the naughty corner where she had set Edith. It was too shameful.

“Oh you will stand there later, much later, and by then you will be glad to do it. Accepting it as you will, the lesser of your shame. No doubt you’ll never look at it the same again,” he chuckled. “But for now I want you to write out, “Teachers who cheat the board, cheat their students and will be soundly spanked.”

It was a shameful truth and suddenly the fire in her bottom fell far short of redemption for her. She clutched at her seared rear and heaved a sob

“Yes Sir,” she said miserably as she picked up the familiar chalk.

“Don’t worry, I will remain while you do it,” he told her. “Oh and leave your skirts up and bloomers off won’t you? That is how it is done?”

Eleanor sobbed back a breath and nodded as she set about the given task.

“H-how many?” she meekly asked.

“Just keep going until I tell you to stop,” he said firmly.

Eleanor suspected that she would fill the board several times over before the night was over. But after just a line or two Eleanor stopped and muttered something.

“What was that?” he growled.

“I said, I am sorry,” she sniffed.

He nodded and replied, “I know.”

Then after another scratch-squeak of chalk she paused again and said, “Mr Vaughn.”

“Yes Miss Whitlow.”

“Thank you,” she said in a wan voice.

“You can thank me later after I finish your spanking.”

“Ooh,” she wailed and flashed a horrified glance at the still warm paddle on her desk.

It was just what she would have done in his place, she decided, and with a mortified sigh she returned to the chalk.



4 Responses to “Cade County 1892”

  1. 1 paul1510

    Damian,
    thanks, a brilliant way to start Tuesday. 😀
    Paul.

  2. 2 Richard

    Spank the teacher how wonderfull to have a chance like that and a young pretty one at that

  3. 3 laststraw

    I was waiting for “Semester of standing for supper” follow up but this story is brilliant as well. When i think about it, there is no school themed story from you that didnt light up my imagination. Hopefullt there are plenty more to come.

  4. 4 DJ

    More from Cade County soon 😉


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